Small Business play a vital role in the economic well being of the U.S. To assist small business owners/ operators, federal government passed the Small Business Act in 1953. Passage of this act was responsible for the creation of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). One of the major areas of assistance to the small business owners/operators provided by the SBA is management and technical assistance. Under this program, the SBA provides both in-house and outside counseling. The in-house counseling to small business owners/operators is provided by the management assistance staff (MAS), and the outside counseling by the SCORE/ACE counselors and the Small Business Institute (SBI). Awareness plays an extremely important role in the usage of the counseling services provided by the SBA. This study was, therefore, designed to determine primarily the awareness, usage, and perception of the counseling programs and the areas in which they were used. Analysis of the data provided by 86 small businesses located in Michigan revealed that the awareness was "poor." Perception of the counseling programs was rated as "about average", and most had "never used" the available services. Counseling was mostly received in the areas of accounting, finance, marketing, and marketing research. Any attempt by the SBA to reorganize the counseling programs must investigate the reasons for not using the programs. Based on the results of such an investigation, corrective steps must be taken to design and deliver effective counseling.
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- Awareness, Usage, and Perception of Small Business Administration’S Counseling Programs
Venkatakrishna V. Bellur